Kawaii Interior Decoration
25/JUL/2009 on air
How is it like to live in a “character room” with as many as 1000 of Hello Kitty in a small 8Jo (about 13 square meters) room? Here’s the owner of the room, Asako-san, a housewife saying “Hello Kitty is just increased like this while I started collecting, but I don’t think this is enough.” Another woman, an illustrator enjoys as many as 500 dolls in a small 4.5Jo room (6.5 square meters) and she sleeps there. “I’m happy if I can live with my favorite things around.” But how is it like to be looked down by 500 dolls around while she is sleeping? Ichigohime-san (it’s just a nickname, meaning strawberry princess) collects everything with strawberry motif in her 8.5Jo room. Can you believe that she has spent total 20 million yen (USD200,000) into the strawberry room? TV, bowl, dress, and even the scent of the room are all strawberry! The dress was from her mom and cost 280,000 yen (USD2800)! “She has collected enough strawberries, and now I just want her to get dressed with this dress to find someone to live together,” says her mom.
There was a letter from a couple who live in a small 6Jo room together. The concept of their room is second hand clothing of American taste. The items in the room are what the man has collected since he was a teenager. There is not enough space to store things, and so they hang their clothes or even sneakers on the wall. It looks there’s no space for sleeping but the green area is actually where they sleep.
There are as many as 70 interior shops in Meguro, Tokyo which is called “Interior Street” of stores with several different interior tastes such as ethnic, mid-century, Showa retro, etc. A man of good knowledge on Meguro Interior Street is called “Meguro Interior Hakase” (meaning Dr. Meguro Interior). He checked out all the stores on the street and grasps characteristics of each shop.
Acme Furniture opened 15 years ago and it was the first one of the shops on the street. Their furniture is purchased in the west coast of the U.S. and vintage furniture is made in 1950-1970. It’s interesting they offer custom-made furniture such as using some auto-part from airplane.
Fortuna deals with furniture directly imported from the U.S., but limited to small ones targeted for single use.
Claska is a famous nice interior hotel where many foreigners visit. Each room has different concept of interior. Take a room #702, for example, you see a bed decorated with soft toys of second hand use. At a room #707, the concept is “recycle” and “pressed flowers” at #701.
ICS is a first interior school in Japan that was established in 1963. Today, 1/3 of students are from foreign countries.
It was only 3 years ago when IKEA opened in Japan. They needed to study Japanese market very carefully because foreign furniture is sometimes too big for Japanese houses. They started from “home visit” people to ask what kind of problems they have for living. Then they tried to understand the demands of Japanese people and analyzed them.
Then how is Japanese interior brand? Francfranc is increasing its sales drastically. It’s a brand of cute zakka (daily goods such as kitchen tools or cushion or clock) and small furniture. They have strong target image of 25-year-old women living in a city. They have expanded 112 branches in Japan, as well as some in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Korea. They target China and India in the near future.
It’s important for them to catch the new trends always.
Tokyo Girls Fudosan (meaning real estate) is a small company run by a few young women, but they are getting popular for what they have done. They buy old houses or apartments in Tokyo, renovate them, and promote them for rent. The turned 30-year-old house to a share house with 10 people and this was so popular with as many as 30 people waiting lists. Because the location is at the centre of Aoyama, Tokyo, even the small room with strange shape costs 89,000 yen monthly for rent.
A man opens his studio type of room as a café to his friends, which accompanies with sacrificing himself sleeping in a closet!
These days there is a boutique or apparel shop that deals with zakka to attract more customers who like interior may also be interested in their clothing.
I don’t like to live in a mess. To me, full of character or strawberry or used clothes hung around means just a mess. I think that when it comes to living, less is more, and color coordination is also very important to maintain unity of the atmosphere of the room. It makes me sick if I am surrounded by so many different colors and materials at once… This is my honest opinion, but how about you?